Satellite Communications on Pinephone(beat Apple!)
#1
I just saw this, apple is going to have what looks to be a globalstar(for the size etc I suspect it is the L-band slow data uplink monoplex service), you apparently need to aim as there is no way to get a good gain on-band antenna inside a skinny phone
https://mobile.slashdot.org/story/22/09/...rgency-sos
We could easily beat them by releasing even a limited run exposition prototype with a globalstar $100 data module integrated into a Pinephone back cover using the pogo pins.
Maybe this is is the TU-144 vs the Concord thinking but we could and should beat them, SPOT messenger has been around for maybe ten years already, this is not new ground except integrating with a mobile phone.
I suppose it is the cool factor and being better than crap brands but I cant watch apple be the only one selling satcom on their phones.
Someone get one of these and a pogo pin ribbon and post it on Hackaday.com
https://www.globalstar.com/en-us/products/iot/stingr
they are still available just not direct from globalstar.
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#2
(09-07-2022, 02:23 PM)biketool Wrote: I just saw this, apple is going to have what looks to be a globalstar(for the size etc I suspect it is the L-band slow data uplink monoplex service), you apparently need to aim as there is no way to get a good gain on-band antenna inside a skinny phone
https://mobile.slashdot.org/story/22/09/...rgency-sos
We could easily beat them by releasing even a limited run exposition prototype with a globalstar $100 data module integrated into a Pinephone back cover using the pogo pins.
Maybe this is is the TU-144 vs the Concord thinking but we could and should beat them, SPOT messenger has been around for maybe ten years already, this is not new ground except integrating with a mobile phone.
I suppose it is the cool factor and being better than crap brands but I cant watch apple be the only one selling satcom on their phones.
Someone get one of these and a pogo pin ribbon and post it on Hackaday.com
https://www.globalstar.com/en-us/products/iot/stingr
they are still available just not direct from globalstar.
apple is excellent on hyping and overmarketing. what i checked about capabilities, this is not that good what it sounds. satellite capability is just sending short messages and even those are only emergencies or similar. i think this just sound perfect on marketing, like apple has satellite based communication technology! checking the prices from that globalstar site, i don't think it's worth it for most devices on our lives.

pine devices generally speaking do not need this.

i'm putting my paranoia hat on!
this satellite technology involves two-way communication system for devices, we could be tracked and crucial data sent to unknown whom. and we cannot escape it to anywhere in this planet or is it beyond this planet. apple already collects data and sends it to somewhere, now through satellites. nowhere to hide!
paranoia hat out.

apple's satcom is still two-way, i would rather be without, even though it cannot be used for mass data transfer. separate emergency satellite communicator could be a different thing although only for some specialized cases.
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#3
(09-07-2022, 03:56 PM)zetabeta Wrote:
(09-07-2022, 02:23 PM)biketool Wrote: I just saw this, apple is going to have what looks to be a globalstar(for the size etc I suspect it is the L-band slow data uplink monoplex service), you apparently need to aim as there is no way to get a good gain on-band antenna inside a skinny phone
https://mobile.slashdot.org/story/22/09/...rgency-sos
We could easily beat them by releasing even a limited run exposition prototype with a globalstar $100 data module integrated into a Pinephone back cover using the pogo pins.
Maybe this is is the TU-144 vs the Concord thinking but we could and should beat them, SPOT messenger has been around for maybe ten years already, this is not new ground except integrating with a mobile phone.
I suppose it is the cool factor and being better than crap brands but I cant watch apple be the only one selling satcom on their phones.
Someone get one of these and a pogo pin ribbon and post it on Hackaday.com
https://www.globalstar.com/en-us/products/iot/stingr
they are still available just not direct from globalstar.
apple is excellent on hyping and overmarketing. what i checked about capabilities, this is not that good what it sounds. satellite capability is just sending short messages and even those are only emergencies or similar. i think this just sound perfect on marketing, like apple has satellite based communication technology! checking the prices from that globalstar site, i don't think it's worth it for most devices on our lives.

pine devices generally speaking do not need this.

i'm putting my paranoia hat on!
this satellite technology involves two-way communication system for devices, we could be tracked and crucial data sent to unknown whom. and we cannot escape it to anywhere in this planet or is it beyond this planet. apple already collects data and sends it to somewhere, now through satellites. nowhere to hide!
paranoia hat out.

apple's satcom is still two-way, i would rather be without, even though it cannot be used for mass data transfer. separate emergency satellite communicator could be a different thing although only for some specialized cases.

This particular globlastar L-band simplex data service is probably able to be located to within about 100km probability oval by doppler location(is a LEO system) via a bent pipe transponder(no processing on the satellite), assuming they even wanted to do more than convert the received signals, I think the message formatting though has reserved data bits for user-added GPS coordinates.  So it is more private to location than mobile phone network, the particular globalstar tech is expensive a $110 modem board, and a cheap plan is $14/mo with 25 included messages again only one-way; it is mostly used to send low speed engineering data for pipelines and similar as well as scientific field measurements like remote area weather station data.  I appreciate the paranoia filter, it is one of the steps I take with my tech designs and when considering a commercial option too; while globalstar is expensive for the amount of data possible it is a reasonably no-track option and way smaller than the amateur radio satellite gear I have used in the past.
(edit)
Seems to be confirmed as globalstar https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/07/satellit...-deal.html
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#4
I wonder if there were an upconverter(to L-band) and final amplifier on the LoRa board(or an out-of-band hack on a 2.4ghz board) if that would be enough to hit the satellite, they have pretty sensitive receivers, I am having trouble finding documentation on the data encoding and exact channel plan for that service though.
I would like to see what Apple is doing hardware wise as it appears that they are using a simple FCC certified low speed data firmware hack(or rather just employing the modem's SDR tech with this added mode as it would a new terrestrial mode) on the Qualcomm X65 5G cellular modem and requiring aiming the phone at the receiving satellite to get good-enough propagation and polarity vs say a Spot palmtop messenger gadget which just needs to be out under open sky.
It is a bit unfortunate that we don't have an unlicensed low speed data satellite service to experiment with outside amateur radio, considering the ban on any kind of privacy or anonymity in that mode; though again I guess we all could have hacked this service onto a pinephone from day one with a pogo pin adapter ribbon and some serial pushes over the I2P to a Globalstar prototype module.
That this is likely just an extended firmware mode just exposes how little control we have over our devices, Apple asks and gets from Qualcom the firmware they want, but we will probably also see this become common built-in feature as time goes on. Though I wonder how many of these signals the globalstar L-band simplex system can handle.

So hoping for eventual built-into-cellular-modems user friendly and user's privacy friendly common options to access globalstar or similar low orbit data services for uplink and maybe a cool no-dish low speed data hack on maybe a downconverted Ku TV satellite transponder space bought by the FOSS-friendly community for data downlink similar to Othernet.
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